Bisphenol A (BPA) in U.S. Food
A R N O L D S C H E C T E R , * ,† N O O R M A L I K , †
DARRAH HAFFNER,‡ SARAH SMITH,†
T. ROBERT HARRIS,† OLAF PAEPKE,§ AND
University of Texas School of Public Health, 6011 Harry Hines
Blvd V8.112 Dallas, Texas 75390, United States, University of
Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, Texas 75390, United States, Eurofins Gfa GmbH
Laboratory, Neulaender Kamp 1, 21079 Hamburg, Germany, and National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892
Received August 13, 2010. Revised manuscript received
October 12, 2010. Accepted October 13, 2010.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used for lining metal cans and in polycarbonate plastics, such as baby bottles. In rodents,
BPA is associated with early sexual maturation, altered behavior, and effects on prostate and mammary glands. In humans, BPA is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and male sexual dysfunction in exposed workers. Food is a major exposure source. We know of no studies reporting BPA in U.S. fresh food, canned food, and food in plastic packaging in peer reviewed journals. We measured BPA levels in 105 fresh and canned foods, foods sold in plastic packaging, and in cat and dog foods in cans and plastic packaging. We detected
BPA in 63 of 105 samples, including fresh turkey, canned green beans, and canned infant formula. Ninety-three of these samples were triplicates which had similar detected levels.
Detected levels ranged from 0.23 to 65.0 ng/g ww and were not associated with type of food or packaging but did vary with pH. BPA levels were higher for foods of pH 5 compared to more acidic and alkaline foods. Detected levels were comparable to those found by others. Further research is indicated to determine
BPA levels in U.S. food in larger, representative sampling.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a monomer and found in epoxy resins commonly used in can linings and hard polycarbonate plastics, such as baby bottles, water bottles, food storage containers, power plugs, and automobile body primers. It is widely found in the environment because it provides a protective barrier between food and metal in cans, and also gives shape and durability (impact resistance) to plastics.
BPA has been found in food, drinks, indoor and outdoor air, floor dust, and soil (1). BPA has also been found in thermal printer paper, such as receipt paper, and may also be transferred from thermal printer paper to hands (2). BPA has been identified in some dental composites and sealants (3) and in flame retardants (4). BPA has even been found in bathing and drinking water, and annually, billions of pounds of BPA are produced and over 100 tons are released into the atmosphere worldwide (5, 6). In the United States, there do
* Corresponding author e-mail: Arnold.Schecter@UTSouthwestern. edu. †
University of Texas School of Public Health.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Eurofins Gfa GmbH Laboratory.
National Cancer Institute.
2010 American Chemical Society
Published on Web 11/01/2010
not appear to be geographical differences in food BPA levels
(7). BPA is thought to be present in 95% of the U.S. population
(8), with higher levels in infants and children than in adults
BPA is a chemical of concern because it is an endocrine disrupter (1) and has been associated with various adverse health effects. BPA exposure has been associated with heart disease in the adult U.S. population, including heart attacks, coronary heart disease, and angina (10). Increasing urinary
BPA concentrations have been significantly associated with male sexual dysfunction as described by seven indices, including decreased sexual desire, erectile, and ejaculatory problems (11, 12). Prenatal exposure in rats is associated with increases in estrogen receptors R and β; increased aggressive behavior in males; obesity; early sexual maturation in females; changes in